Intracranial arterial dolichoectasia in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

Wouter I. Schievink, Vicente E. Torres, David O. Wiebers, John Huston

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64 Scopus citations


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a systemic disorder with a variety of cardiovascular manifestations. This study presents a group of patients with ADPKD who had intracranial arterial dolichoectasia. One hundred seventy-eight ADPKD patients were screened with magnetic resonance angiography, 40 ADPKD patients had conventional angiography, and 98 ADPKD patients underwent a brain autopsy. For comparison, 360 patients without ADPKD who had magnetic resonance angiography and conventional angiography or brain autopsy were also studied. The prevalence of asymptomatic intracranial arterial dolichoectasia was 2.2% (4 of 178), 2.5% (1 of 40), and 2.0% (2 of 98) in the three ADPKD groups, respectively. None of the patients without ADPKD had intracranial arterial dolichoectasia. In addition to the seven patients with asymptomatic disease, two ADPKD patients with vertebrobasilar dolichoectasia had posterior circulation ischemic symptoms. The mean age of the nine patients (five men and four women) was 56.6 yr (range, 41 to 67 yr). The posterior circulation was involved in five patients, the anterior circulation was involved in two patients, and both were involved in two patients. Arterial dissection was believed to have caused middle cerebral artery dolichoectasia in one patient, and intracranial arterial dissections were strongly suspected in two other patients. Six of the nine patients with intracranial arterial dolichoectasia had additional vascular manifestations of ADPKD. Some patients with ADPKD are at an increased risk of developing intracranial arterial dolichoectasia and dissections. Recognizing this association is important because (1) it may be a cause of stroke; (2) it may mimic a saccular aneurysm on radiographic studies; and (3) it suggests that the arteriopathy of ADPKD may be more generalized than previously believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1303
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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